Today is Saturday, June 30, the 182nd day of 2012 with 184 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Venus, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus. Evening stars are Mercury, Saturn and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Cancer. They include English socialist leader Harold Laski in 1893; actor Susan Hayward and singer Lena Horne, both in 1917; magician Harry Blackstone Jr. in 1934; actor Nancy Dussault in 1936 (age 76); singer Florence Ballard of The Supremes in 1943; actor David Alan Grier in 1955 (age 57); former heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson in 1966 (age 46); swimmer Michael Phelps, winner of 14 Olympic gold medals, in 1985 (age 27).
On this date in history:
In 1859, Frenchman Jean Francois Gravelet, known professionally as the Great Blondin, became the first daredevil to walk across Niagara Falls on a tight rope.
In 1870, Ada Kepley became the first woman to graduate from an accredited law school in the United States, Union College of Law in Chicago.
In 1905, the theory of relativity was introduced by Albert Einstein in "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies."
In 1908, a spectacular explosion occurred over central Siberia, probably caused by a meteorite. The fireball reportedly could be seen hundreds of miles away.
In 1923, jazz pioneer Sidney Bechet made his first recording. It included "Wild Cat Blues" and "Kansas City Blues."
In 1934, German leader Adolf Hitler ordered a bloody purge of his own political party, assassinating hundreds of Nazis whom he feared might become political enemies.
In 1936, Margaret Mitchell's Civil War novel "Gone With the Wind" was published.
In 1950, U.S. troops were moved from Japan to help defend South Korea against the invading North Koreans.
In 1982, the extended deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment expired, three states short of the 38 needed for passage.
In 1971, three Soviet Cosmonauts, crewmembers of the world's first space station, were killed when their spacecraft depressurized during re-entry.
Also in 1971, 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, allowing voting age lowered to 18 years, was ratified.
In 1986, Hugh Hefner, calling his Playboy Bunny a "symbol of the past," closed Playboy Clubs in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
In 1992, Fidel Ramos was inaugurated as the eighth Philippine president in the first peaceful transfer of power in a generation.
In 1998, a casualty of the Vietnam War buried at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, Va., was identified as Air Force Lt. Michael Blassie of St. Louis.
In 1999, Clinton crony Webster Hubbell, a former associate U.S. attorney general, pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the Whitewater land deal scandal.
In 2000, the Clinton administration said Iraq restarted its missile program and flight-tested a short-range ballistic missile.
In 2002, Israel announced it had killed a top Hamas bomb-maker, responsible for the deaths of more than 100 Israelis in suicide attacks and had begun work on an electronic fence designed to block off three sides of Jerusalem from the West Bank.
In 2003, after agreeing on a cease-fire with the Palestinians, Israel pulled out of most of the Gaza Strip, ending for the time being a blockade on the main highway that began in 2000.
In 2004, the Federal Reserve, for the first time in four years, raised its benchmark interest rate from a record low 1 percent to 1.25 percent for overnight loans.
Also in 2004, the Cassini spacecraft, in space on a U.S.-European mission, became the first device to orbit the planet Saturn.
In 2005, Israel declared the Gaza Strip a closed military zone. All Israelis, except for residents, service providers and reporters, were barred from entering.
Also in 2005, Spain became the third country to legalize same-sex marriage.
In 2006, a joint U.S.-Canadian investigation grounded a group accused of using helicopters and planes to ferry drugs from British Columbia across the border. Agents reported arresting 46 people and seizing 4 tons of marijuana, 800 pounds of cocaine, aircraft and $1.5 million in cash.
In 2007, a car blew up at Glasgow airport in Scotland after two British bomb threats the day before prompted authorities to raise the security level to "critical."
In 2008, stocks reported a staggering loss of $2.1 trillion in value for the first half of the year -- $1.4 trillion in June alone. The Dow Jones industrial average closed on June 30 at 11,350.01, down 14.4 percent since the start of the year.
In 2009, the U.S. military completed its withdrawal from Baghdad and other Iraqi cities and towns, as planned. Nearly 130,000 American troops remained on duty at forward-operating bases.
Also in 2009, Yemenia Airways Flight IY626, which had taken off from Sanaa, Yemen, crashed into the Indian Ocean while trying to land at Moroni, the capital of Comoros, killing152 of 153 people aboard. The lone survivor was a 14-year-old girl.
In 2010, the Dow Jones industrial average closed June at 9,774.02, a 10 percent second-quarter drop. The Standard and Poor's 500 and the Nasdaq composite were down 11.9 and 12 percent, respectively, for the quarter.
Also in 2010, the U.S. consumer confidence index, based on a survey of 5,000 American households and reversing a 3-month trend, reported a drop from 62.7 in May to 52.9 in June.
In 2011, overcoming economy uncertainty, U.S. stocks closed out June with the best week in two years.
Also in 2011, the largest wildfire in New Mexico history burned over almost 103,000 acres and for a time threatened the U.S. nuclear research facility at Los Alamos.
And, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as the new director of the CIA.
A thought for the day: Bertrand Russell argued that "Boredom is a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it."